Kith and Kin

The second word people will recognize, the first one not so common.

Kin: relatives

Kith: friends and acquaintances

These are the abbreviated definitions from Webster and the like.  In most of modern society, these terms will fit well enough.  I happen to disagree with – have a much more expressive definition for the second one.  My definition is more in line with historical means for the word and for the meaning of the word in cognizant members of my modern community.

Let’s start with kin.  I have a mother and a father.  I have 11 (I think) living aunts and uncles and both sides of the family being Catholic, I have a metric shit ton (45 or so) of first cousins.  I think without going any further, I have you convinced that I have a HUGE swath of available kin.  People I am related to by blood.  These are people who I nominally know and for the most part get along with at family reunions, weddings and the like.  Mostly decent people, all families have that uncle, that cousin… but we do ok in that regard.

Kith, I stated I have a more archaic definition.  This definition is people who have no blood loyalty to you or you to them; but that you claim as kin.  In the days of yore, a knight would swear such allegiance to his lord, although often it was not reciprocal.  A family might swear such an allegiance to a child of friends who were killed.  Two warriors might become blood brothers as testament to their loyalty to one another.  If you look back at history, you can find innumerable examples of this type of thing.  If this is an honest commitment, this is often a much stronger bond.

Think about it.  A bond of blood takes no energy.  You have this bond DESPITE what you may desire.  An oath taken is a sacred bond, it is a bond that must be maintained and worked.  It is also a bond that you have personally committed to and the resulting loss of honor is much larger if you break it.  As I mentioned, those in my modern preparedness / conservative community should get this.  We are people who often are derided by kin for our unwillingness to play the party line of mediocrity and bending to the easy path.  We often are forced to band together with people who become our kith, just to have the opportunity to protect our kin.

I know many of you are asking, where is he going with this?  I can tell you, Dawn had a grasp of kith simply from her life and experiences growing up in several mixed households.  She has a true blood sister, a technical half-brother, a no blood relation brother and for a few year had a sister the same way.  They were all her siblings.  No half, no step, just siblings.  In her adult life, she had a child of no blood relation.  This little girl was her child in every way except genetics.

I did not have this exposure and I questioned Dawn on the dynamics.  She showed me by example more than she explained it to me.  I am fairly dense at times, but I learned this lesson and I learned it well.  Dawn was the first person who I recognized as kith.  She was my awakening moment.  Before that, I was not worthy of being anyone’s kith or they mine.  Now, I can tell you, I have 4 kids who are in no way at all related to me, who are my kith.  I also have 4 kids that are related to me by marriage, that are my kith.  These are my children whether they like it or not.  Most of them know and happily accept.

Outside of that, there are people in my life who are equally my kith.  My best friend of over 35 years, he is my brother.  He knows the code we live by.  I have some other friends, local to me now.  They also know the code.  They are my kith and I am theirs.

Without being overly dramatic, people YOU and only YOU are in charge of who enters your life.  You are in charge of who stays in your life.  You are in charge of what type of friend you are to those who would have you as kith.  You choose your kith and they choose you.

I will ask a few questions here.  Do you know the original meaning of a voluntary blood bonding?  Do you know the reason one NEVER broke a blood oath?

Becoming a blood brother was the symbolic statement of sharing the same blood.  He who strikes you, now causes me to bleed as well.  He who is your enemy is now my enemy.  We may not prevail, but we will fight and if need be, we will die together.  If I am somehow spared death and you are not, I will not stop until you are avenged.

Perhaps this helps you to know why the word kith has been adjusted and has dropped out of common parlance.  Perhaps this helps you to understand why in antiquity, anyone who broke a blood oath was killed by the witnesses to the oath.  The forsaken were avenged by society.  They had to be or society crumbled.  Perhaps you will now also understand why I do not accept accolades for my actions with Dawn. It was not just the right thing to do.  It was the ONLY thing to do.

She was, is and always will be Kith.

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Filed under book, Dawn, personal

That knight in shining armor.

armorAfter Dawn and I got back together and she started to believe that I wasn’t going to run away.  Run away, like so many others throughout her life; she started calling me her “Knight in shining armor”.  I would always tell her; no, I am your knight in tattered armor.

She would always insist that to her, my armor SHINED with the glory of the morning sun.

One day when we had that little verbal joust, I told her the armor is truly tattered.  But, it does glow with the glory of a blazing red Dawn.  She looked at me, under standing that I had emphasized the double entendre with her name, the morning and her red hair.  She did not catch the deeper meaning.

I smiled and told her, it is your scrupulous maintenance of my tattered armor each night, that allows me to protect again, when that gorgeous ball of red rises each morning.

She looked at me again with a slow realization on her face.

Her eyes welled up.  She dashed into my arms and cried.  She finally, truly understood we were a team.  We each had a role.  My role was to beat back dragons.  My role was to keep her safe and protected; give her the room she needed to heal and grow.  Her role was to be the diplomat / scholar and to mend my armor; physical, mental and spiritual.  She knew in that moment, we were one.  She knew in that moment, that I might not be able to save her, but I would fight until her last breath or mine.

She cried and so did I.  My armor never shined as much as it did that day and every day after.

It turned out to be until her last breath.  But I still fight.  So perhaps, it will be to my last breath too.

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March 11, 2017 · 18:51

On need

What I am about to say is going to offend some of you, “trigger you” if you will.  But just keep reading, I think you will come around to seeing my way or at least my point.

I never needed Dawn.  Need did not even enter the equation.  Dawn damn sure never needed me.  She could have had most any man she wanted, no need for me.

When we first me, I thought she was HOTT and sexy.  Then within a few minutes, I knew she was smart and vivacious.  I also knew she was very practiced at hiding it, but she held some deep hurts.  All of these things intrigued me and I wanted to learn more, to spend more time in her presence.  I did.  We began dating and did the things adults do when they date.

For the first two years we knew each other, we dated sporadically.  She dated other people, I dated other people.  She and I would get temptingly close and she would break up with me.  That was fine, I didn’t need her. I was sporadic with someone else who would also break up with me from time to time, too. With Dawn, when it worked; it worked well.  But it never worked for long.  She didn’t need me.  She needed the other guy way more than me.  I was her distraction when he broke up with her.

As time went on, the dynamic evolved into a more complex thing.  Some deep feelings started to get involved.  My other primary relationship died off, but I had others.  Her other relationship became increasingly bi-polar and abusive.  We fit easily together, but I didn’t need her and she plainly stated she didn’t need me.  We could not manage to stay tightly together for any reasonable period of time.  So we did what reasonable adults do.  We kept it light, we dated others when we had issues with each other and declared everything to be fantastic.

One day, after spending a weekend completely entwined; Dawn asked me if I would ever consider marriage… marriage with her.  I could see on her face that her mouth had outrun her brain.  I could see the fear / panic in her eyes.  I rolled over to face her directly and smiled at her.  She quickly pronounced, “I did not just ask you to marry me.” She further explained that she had been thinking on it for a while and she realized she liked being married and did not want … to… waste time pursuing a dead end.  She figured out she liked me a lot and wanted to pursue the possibility of making a go at having a much deeper relationship with me.  But as I had never been married or a fan of marriage, she did not want to waste time if I was completely opposed.  She did not need me.

I smiled at her again and held her hand.  I told her, I knew answering a question with a question, was bad form.  But, the only way she would understand my answer was if I framed it.  She looked at me with confusion.

So I asked, “do you know how long is the longest we have ever spent, together?  Contiguous before you disappeared?” (her word from breaking up with me)

Her eyes got real big and her personality withdrew.  A much weaker voice, “no, but I am sure you do.”

“33 days”, I replied.  “In two years of dating, we have never been able to string together more than 33 days.  Would you marry someone based on that?”   There was a long pause and right before she said something, I said, “now, we can string together 6 or 9 months of YOU not disappearing…  We manage that, you ask me again and I think you will be happily surprised with my answer.”

Her face got very red, all the way down to the middle of her chest.  She turned away quickly.  I put my arm around her to pull her towards me.  She resisted a little.  (she didn’t need me).  I pulled stronger and kissed her deeply.  She relented.

A few hours later, she went home and didn’t return my calls in the morning.  (she didn’t need me).  I did not know until several months later, but the (abusive) guy invited her back, the next day.  Then, two days later he proposed to her.   She was ripe with marriage on her mind.  I had been a bit of a wet blanket (realistic) on the idea.  She kept going back to him despite the abuse, so after a bit of thought, she just decided she was going to end up there anyway so why fight.  (she did not need me).

For brevity and for my blood pressure, I will skip over the 8 months of the marriage.  But it ended with her penniless, homeless, without healthcare, with a diagnosis of cancer and no treatment plan.  She had $17, a small pick-up truck, some clothes, a laptop and a 17 year old son.

Two weeks went by.  The local woman’s shelter arranged a hotel room.  Some strangers helped her with some Walmart gift cards, a local pastor quietly asked for help for her and her son.  A woman (Missy) she barely knew took her on as a pet project and made the little necessities of life appear.   Then on Halloween night her son had a complete meltdown in their one bedroom hotel room.  She knew she needed something and the only place she could think of to get him help, HORRIFIED her.

The next morning she got him dropped off at school and swallowed her fear.  She swallowed that fear several times before she could act.  Then she reached out to the one person who would help her son.  She reached out to me.   It took me a day or two to figure out it was actually her as she was reaching out in very circumspect ways.  This made her fear grow each time she had to be more direct. (but her son needed me).  Eventually, I figured it out and gave her my phone number so she could call me.

I answered the phone with a bit of sternness in my tone.  I heard a very meek voice on the other end, “hello, this is Dawn.  Please don’t hang up on me…” then a long breath and a pause.

I replied, “ok,…why are we on the phone?”   I certainly didn’t need her.

She started out strong but quickly petered into meek, “I need your help with Tucker.  I know you hate me…. He is having a terrible time dealing with this … and if he… if you don’t…Please take him shooting or to the movies or …please help him.” As her voice failed entirely.

“Dawn, why are you even talking to me.  Why doesn’t your husband do this?” I spit.  (I didn’t need her or this.)

I heard the slightest of whispers, “I don’t have a husband.”

I softened a little (but I still didn’t need this or her), “You are not making any sense.  Please take a moment to get yourself together and tell me the highlights of the story.”

She recounted the basics of them getting married even though part of her mind screamed at her to run away.  She told me about quitting her job to work for his company, him refusing to allow her to get insurance.  Then she burst into tears and told me about her cancer diagnosis and no treatment without insurance.  Then she told me about Tucker coming apart at the seams and them living in a one bedroom hotel room paid by the Woman’s Shelter.  Then she begged me to help him.  She told me not to take out my justified hatred of her, on him.  She begged, that she knew I loved him and he loved me.

The sentence I will never forget.  “You pick a time and a place.  I will drive him there and leave 10 minutes before you get there.  You don’t ever have to see me or talk to me again.  Just please help my son.  You can set it all up with him.  Just help him get out of Cancerville.  Help him see some love, anything besides cancer.   I don’t really have any money or I would pay for the activity.  But,” and then the wracking sobs came in full force.  (she didn’t need me, but she needed my help)

I let her calm down a bit.  Then I answered, “Dawn, I can’t do what you want.  I really can’t help Tucker…”

She butted in with the most force of the entire conversation, “Please, he needs you.  I don’t think I can handle another person kicking me when I am down.”

“Dawn, let me finish!” I cut her off, “I can’t help Tucker, because taking him to the movies is not gonna help.  Taking him shooting is not gonna help.  The only way I can help Tucker is if I help you.  I have medical connections.  I know some people.  If you let me help you, then I can help Tucker.”  The line went dead.

About 20 minutes later, my phone rang again.  The weakest, meekest voice I had yet heard, “I don’t have a choice, do I?

“No, not really.”

Some strength returned, “I won’t, (much quieter) can’t be romantic with you.  I have drains in from my surgery. My brain is too…”

I cut her off.  “Did I ask you to be romantic with me?  Did I tell you my help depended on anything?  Are you suggesting I am blackmailing you?”

A very long pause, “I don’t understand.  Will you help Tucker?  Why are you predicating it on interacting with me, if you don’t want to be … John, don’t play games with me.  I can’t keep this up.  I can’t be beaten down again.  I might not get up…  Just tell me what you want.”

As calmly as I could, “ok, you are dead set on me having conditions.  My condition is you come to my house and we discuss the rest of it in person.  But I want you to understand part of the why, so you can process it on the way over.  I spent the last 8 months of my life KNOWING you were dead.  I now have the chance to literally and figuratively change that outcome.  I can’t do anything but act, help…  In case that is too abstract for you.  I spent the last 8 months knowing that I missed my one chance at LOVE and I will be damned if I will again.”

She burst into sobs and hung up on me, again.  About 45 minutes later, there was a very tentative knock at my door.  And the next almost 7 years proved how deeply we needed each other.


Filed under book, Cancer, Dawn, personal

my response to a traitor


It goes way deeper than this, but for some context.

Senator Anitere Flores

404 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

Mrs. Flores,

I am a Florida resident temporarily residing in Tennessee.  Just so you know why if anyone bothers to look at the postal stamp.

I want to bring up a topic that may be painful for you, but it may shed some light on your future.  There is a historical reference that you may well want to examine although in truth, it is probably too late for you to not experience the same fate.

Many years ago, there was a political figure,  not happy with his lot in life.  Things were not progressing the way he wanted.  His initiatives were not given the due he felt they should and his base of power was seemingly endlessly eroded by a litany of lessor people who did not last but continuously thwarted him.  After much consternation and frustration, a powerful group of politicians met with him and offered to work with him.  They were made of sterner stuff than the people who always nipped at his heels.  They were indeed movers and shakers, they saw his worth and flatly stated he would be a cherished asset if he would ally with them.

After much consideration, he agreed to join them.  Finally, his true worth had been measured and understood.  Finally, he would be able to make grand changes and people would feel is strength and power.

That man, Benedict Arnold made his choices.  He burned bridges with many who had called him friend.  He did it to fulfill his own vain glorious needs.  In the end, his cause; vanity and the British retention of the Colonies failed.  He died broken, powerless, poor and castigated by society on both sides of the Atlantic.   If you can look yourself in the mirror, you may find the beginnings of the same lot.

Actions have consequences.  Being on the wrong side of moral righteousness is never a good thing and never prospers in the long term.  I should also remind you, those in the conservative and gun communities have long memories, especially for a Mrs. Benedict Arnold.


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Filed under gun blogger, gun politics, guns, idiocrity, nanny state, politics, silly politicians

Why do I find this on my Bing feed?


and not from any one of Dawn’s Oncologists?

In the gun / conservative community, we call what I am currently experiencing a RWOB moment.  Red WALL of Blood moment.  A moment where you have to sit.  A moment where you have to sit still and focus so you don’t shred your entire house as a means of venting the anger (or criminally worse things).

There is a drug that shows serious promise at STOPPING metz.  Not slowing, not piddling around with it.  STOPPING it butt cold.  The side effects are puffy eyes, itchy skin and the PATIENT doesn’t DIE of metastatic cancer.

AND they have been studying this for over 10 years.


My dreams are going to involve lots of … and … and things I won’t even let my conscious mind consider… for fear of temptation.

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Filed under Cancer, Dawn

“A day without women”

The liberal swarm: media, “women’s groups”, democrat pundits… are all up in arms about today being a great protest.  They are all about a world wide protest to prove how important women are to society.  On that premise, my answer is “duh”.  Without women the planet would be devoid of humanity within 100 years, not to mention all the other things women do.

But to their actual desires, the desire to hold countries, companies, school districts, people and I can only assume – men hostage.  Really, is that the best idea?  Is that a good way to portray your message?  Is that a good message to convey?

For one, I resent this.  I resent it for many reasons and I will share one.

This is personal.  EVERY day is a day without MY WOMAN, my wife, my partner for life and beyond, the other half of my soul.  EVERY day, I have to wake up without her endearing smile to great me as I nudge her awake with hopeful cuddles.  EVERY day, I have to figure out a way to make it through the day without refreshers of her wisdom, without her laughing at my vexation with stupid people, without her slipping her hand into mine and that gentle squeeze telling me I am the most important thing in her life.  EVERY day, I have to interact with grey scale, 2D caricatures of my formerly 3D technicolor life.

Some in the conservative movement have created a backlash idea.  “We show up”.

I will tell you with no reservations, my wife was a “We show up” woman.  Her first husband (effectively) refused to earn a living for the family.  So, “She showed up”.  She showed up so well, her part time effort to make ends meet led to a management position and more money than they had made combined when she started.  So he quit entirely.  So, she showed up even more.  That was the story of her life.  Not that other people refused, they did.  But that isn’t the point.  She showed up, then she did.  She did what needed done, then she went a bit further.  Sometimes it was working longer, sometimes it was working smarter, sometimes it was recognizing talent and promoting it.  Sometimes it was doing the dirty job no one else wanted to to.  But in a world 25 some odd years ago when “women could not succeed”, no one bothered to tell this woman who apparently didn’t know any better and did.

She went from a part time furniture “sales girl” at a local furniture store, to the Leader of Regional Expansion for a huge high end furniture chain.  She managed the construction, build out, staffing and opening marketing of 6+ stores as they opened an entire new region of sales.  She went from making just over minimum wage (plus slight commission) to a base salary over $100k with a generous bonus and benefits package.  She did not do this by holding anyone hostage over having a vagina.  She did it by showing up, working hard and smart and doing what it took to keep her children fed, clothed and to provide them an opportunity to succeed later.  She did it without the help of a good husband / partner.  She would even say she did it to compensate for the lack of …

My wife would have heard of this protest and laughed.  If she had still been in furniture management, she would have had a meeting with her staff a week or two ago.  In that meeting, she would have directly told everyone.  Take the day off if you want.  America is a free country.  Just be aware, the company has policies on unauthorized days off.  I will be documenting this meeting.  I will be documenting and prosecuting any unauthorized days off the same way I always do.  Remember actions have consequences.  I am fair and I am firm.  Her intend would have been, I have fairly warned you and I will give your story a fair listen before I send your last check to the address on record.

Have I mentioned recently, I miss that woman like I would miss my right arm?


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Filed under communist media, Dawn, personal, politics, Uncategorized

my take on “stand your ground”

Because good material at an away game needs to come home, too.

There is really only one other option other than “stand your ground”.  I like to call that run and hide.  A recipe for well:

“Run and hide just passes the buck and perhaps the bullet to someone else. Also known as the coward’s gambit. I choose to stand. I may die because of my choice, but I will NOT die a coward and endanger others so that I may cower and grovel. Others may live because I stand. I also choose not to enter gun free zones or gun free states. This gives my choice of standing some true bite.”

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Filed under gun blogger, gun politics, guns, politics, Uncategorized